The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the absence of an effective system of conflict prevention in Europe. The development of regional security arrangements within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the European Union (EU) has not led to the creation of a comprehensive regional security architecture. But does this mean that the regional organizations have failed in providing security to their members and beyond? What instruments do they have to meet security challenges? And are the organizations perceived as serious security providers within former Soviet states, where they engage in conflict resolution and other security related activities?
This chapter discusses these questions by juxtaposing the actual and perceived capabilities of NATO, the OSCE and the EU in delivering security. First, it reviews the organizations' approaches in dealing with security challenges and their security related engagements in post-Soviet territories. Next, the chapter turns to how these European and Euro-Atlantic security actors are perceived within the post-Soviet space, the analysis of which concentrates on the relevant governments' positions vis-à-vis the regional structures and opinions of leading security experts from selected states. Methodologically, the study draws on a content analysis of these governments' statements and media reports, as well as semi-structured interviews with national security experts. A series of systematic interviews was conducted in Belarus and Kazakhstan, complemented by ad hoc problem-centered interviews with security experts from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Uzbekistan. All interviews were conducted anonymously in the period between September 2014 and October 2015.